MASTER PLAN STEERING COMMITTEE
March 6, 2007
1196 Main Street, Town Hall
MEMBERS PRESENT: Michael Wronski, Co-Chair; Barbara Kohlstrom, Co-Chair; Cheryl Owoc, Joe Giotta, Celeste Duffy, Kimberly Ferguson Absent: David Lindberg
Element Leaders: Steve Mentzer, Ed Benoit, Judy Haran, Richard Shiels, Paul McManus, Scott Carlson, Rosemary Johnson, Ed Starkus Absent: Wendy O'Leary
STAFF: Pamela Harding, Town Planner
The meeting was called to order at 6:30 pm.
Each element team leader was asked to create three to five implementation recommendations based on data and input from various community meetings, etc. The following elements were reviewed;
PUBLIC SERVICES AND FACILITIES - Ed Benoit reviewed recommendations for Public Services and facilities. Sewer capacity and the impact on growth and goals of the master plan were a major topic of discussion. Reducing I and I, conservation education, and eliminating current illegal connections were all discussed. Bottleneck issues in the Worcester sewage lines were also reviewed. The Town needs to create both short and long term strategies to address the situation. Identifying potential options for future water resources were discussed. Though the additional water resources are not needed now, they maybe in the future and preservation of potential well head zones must be done now to prevent contamination.
Youth after school programs and activities for seniors were discussed. Increasing public transportation options for both demographics, particularly seniors, was expressed.
The funing of public facilities and services was another topic of discussion. There is an obvious need for a public safety building. A plan prioritizing and creating a funding mechanism for the long term replacement/maintenance of public facilities is needed.
HOUSING - Rose Johnson discussed various housing issues. Progressive senior housing is needed in Town, market rate independent senior housing needs have been fulfilled. There is a need for affordable and low income senior and family housing.
The Town does not have an identified future need for large four bedroom single family homes, this market has been saturated. The difficulties in increasing the Town's affordable housing inventory were discussed. The creation of a zoning by-law requiring a percentage of all new units in a development be designated as affordable was recommended.
TRANSPORTATION - Traffic on Main Street was the number one complaint of residents in the Town. It was suggested the current study for a new ramp at I-190 investigate the implications of traffic on Main Street. A new Main Street by-pass alternative and the impacts of re-striping and creating a four lane roadway were discussed. The Pavement Management System Plan has not been implemented in accordance with the proposed schedule due to budget constraints, repaving is typically one of the first items to be eliminated.
NATURAL CULTURAL AND HISTORIC RESOURCES - preserving Agricultural uses was identified as a priority, the use of APR's was discussed.
Educating the public about natural resources and trails were discussed. It seems the public is unaware of access locations.
The Gale Library and services offered were considered a valuable resource.
Expansion of the historical district was also discussed as well as painting the Hendrick's House.
The meeting was adjourned at 9:30 pm.